Thursday, May 24, 2012

Classroom Walkthrough 2012

On Saturday 19th of May several teachers met at Waiuku Primary School to listen and share with other teachers what their classrooms look like and how they have changed their teaching practice. Rachel Boyd (@rachelboyd) was our host at Waiuku. They have made the decision in their junior school to use 32" TV screens as their computer screens for the students.

They have bright coloured tables of different shapes spread around the room.

Rachel has made particular good use of an old TV/DVD set where she has made a watching space for her students. They can watch educational videos on phonics and stories.

The next school to visit was Hingaia Peninsula School, a newly built school that has just opened this year. The principal Jane Danielson (@janedanielson) talked about how their rooms are called studios with multi-functional nooks (the watering hole, the camp fire, the cave). There is an interesting mixture of furniture with tables of all heights and sizes and chairs to match. Three teachers work together in this space sharing the teaching of all of the children in the studio.

Then we visited The Gardens in Manurewa. There are 3 e-Learning classrooms. Christine Hansen showed us the three rooms ranging from Year 5 to Yr 8. They have replaced all of their desks with different shaped tables and chairs. They have incorporated spaces into their classroom layout. All children have an iPad and there are 10-15 laptops in each classroom. Google Docs are used extensively by teachers and students.
This photo was taken a few weeks ago.

We then went to Point View, where Lynne Laburn (@llaburn) showed us around 2 junior classes and one senior.
Lynne has her children for the second year in a row and likes to have a themed classroom. Last year it was the Secret Garden and this Year it is Pirates.
Her year 2 students blog regularly and are also part of Quad blogging.
She has lots of spaces and students are allowed to work wherever they like. They are very independent and self managing.

Ksensia skyped in and as we viewed her class she pointed out all of the features. She has several spaces where students can go to be by themselves or with a partner.
Recently she turned her classroom into the trenches of WW1 for a week!

Finally we ended up at Dave Beehre's Year 8 class. He is famous for his 'Class without Walls' approach to teaching.
Even though he has more desks in his class this year (student choice) his room is not like a traditional style Intermediate class. He has several comfy couches and beanbags scattered around the classroom. The students are not expected to sit in one place, they can sit anywhere in the classroom. Dave is well known for his wikis and he talked about how well Hapara (Teacher dashboard for Google) was working in his classrom.

This was a great opportunity for teachers to talk about what they are doing in the classroom and for other teachers to listen and see what it looks like.


  1. Great post Jacqui.

    It was great to have so many teachers through our school. Our junior teachers are loving using their 42 or 55" TVs to teach/model to their classes and small groups with (as seen in photo). Plus, the new 32" screen computers are already being well loved in two of our junior classes also!

    It was wonderful to be with so many other teachers who are so open and so willing to share their classroom environments. Thanks to all whose classrooms we visited :)

    Kind regards,
    Waiuku Primary School

  2. I really like what you have here. My friend just told me about classroom walkthrough software for those who aren't able to be physically present. Do you guys have that?